VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 14, 2011) - Empire Mining Corporation (TSX VENTURE:EPC) ("Empire") is pleased to announce that drilling has commenced at its 100% owned Bulqiza chromite project in Albania.
On September 30th, 2010 Empire announced that Phase I drilling at its Bulqiza-Batra chromite licence in Albania had definitively confirmed the existence of the eastern mineralized extension of the fold structures (the "Eastern Limb") controlling and hosting the chromite ores in the productive Bulqiza and Batra mines (the "Orebody") where recorded past production is about 20 million tonnes of high-grade (35%-42% Cr2O3) and high metallurgical quality (CrFe ratios of up to 3:1) ore. The drilling confirmed the Eastern Limb at both ends of the Orebody*, which extends over 2 km of strike and over an average width of 500 metres.
Phase II drilling has commenced at Thekna Gallery (adit) 25 which is located within the Bulqiza-Batra Licence, 5 km southeast of the Orebody* hosting the Bulqiza and Batra mines and is believed to be part of the same structure. Drilling will consist of up to 1,000 meters in up to 4 core holes and will target a reported historical resource** identified from state drilling of 300 000 at 45% Cr2O3 where Empire believes there is scope for significant expansion.
The commencement of drilling required Empire's development team to complete the rehabilitation of Gallery 25 in harsh winter conditions which severely hampered progress. Overhead power-lines were installed from the main grid to the entrance of Gallery (adit) 25. Insulated cables and water lines were installed along 1.36 km in the gallery to support the operation of the drilling rig. Empire now has access to an important underground drill chamber where previous state drilling intersected thicker high Cr2O3 grades.
On completion of drilling at Thekna Gallery 25, the drill rig will be moved to Bulqiza Gallery 1440. Gallery 1440 extends south over a 5 km length from the Bulqiza end of the Orebody* to beyond the Batra end of the Orebody* providing valuable infrastructure for drilling, evaluation and eventual mining of mineralisation within only a few tens of metres above Gallery 1440. Geological reconstructions of state records also indicate unmined blocks of chromite below, but in close proximity to Gallery 1440.
The necessary rehabilitation of Gallery 1440 has been completed to provide access to drill sites in closer proximity to mineralization. The installation of power and water lines and the construction of a short access road, which were all delayed by difficult winter conditions, are now underway. Drilling at Bulqiza 1440 will target banded and massive chromite mineralization intersected in Phase I drilling, 120 m above Gallery 1440. Drilling at Bulqiza 1440 will consist of up to 1,000 meters in up to 6 core holes.
*The term "Orebody" in this press release is used in the historical sense and is not meant to imply current economic viability.
**Caution: A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate respecting the Thekna deposit as a current mineral resource. Empire is not treating the historical estimate as a current mineral resource and the historical estimate should not be relied upon.
Empire's Qualified Person, David C. Cliff, BSc (Hons), MIMMM, C Eng, FGS, also Empire's President & CEO, has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
David Cliff, President & CEO
This release contains forward-looking information and statements, as defined by law including without limitation Canadian securities laws and the "safe harbor" provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("forward-looking statements"), respecting Empire Mining's exploration plans, and plans for the next 12 months. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including without limitation the ability to acquire necessary permits and other authorizations; obtaining TSX Venture Exchange and other regulatory approvals; environmental compliance; weather risks; cost increases; availability of qualified worker; availability of equipment; competition for mining properties; ability to convert exploration permits into development permits; risks associated with exploration projects, mineral reserve and resource estimates (including the risk of assumption and methodology errors); dependence on third parties for services; non-performance by contractual counterparties; title risks; and general business and economic conditions. There is no assurance that the Bulqiza Project will lead to a NI 43-101 resource, nor that future drilling will be desirable or conducted on the property. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions that may prove to be incorrect, including without limitation assumptions about: general business and economic conditions; favourable weather conditions; the timing and receipt of required approvals; availability of financing; ability to obtain required approvals including without limitation those of the TSX Venture Exchange; ability to locate applicable exemptions from securities law and policy respecting prospectus and registration requirements; power prices; ability to procure equipment and supplies; and ongoing relations with employees, partners and joint venturers. The foregoing list is not exhaustive and we undertake no obligation to update any of the foregoing except as required by law.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.